For improved transparency, in addition to the provision of statistical data on the use of animals for scientific purposes, it is important that objective information on projects using live animals is made publicly available. Article 43 of the Directive establishes non-technical project summaries (NTS) to achieve this.
The detailed content of NTS can be found in Annex I of Commission Implementing Decision 2020/569/EU. Member States and key stakeholders considered additional guidance useful to help users to draft clear and appropriate NTS to promote consistency across the EU. A draft guidance was circulated for testing between January and June 2021. Feedback from the test will allow the the finalisation of the guidance document.
Until the end of 2020, Member States were required to publish NTS at national level. However, for projects authorised after January 2021, NTS are published using the open access ALURES NTS EU Database. Together with the ALURES Statistical EU Database, EU provides a unique level of transparency on animal-based research and testing. These tools will allow more targeted efforts for the development of alternative non-animal approaches by better understanding where, how and why animals are still required to be used for scientific purposes.
The first version of the ALURES NTS EU Database is now launched. On the basis of feedback and searches made, the filtering options and search facilities will be developed further. The database search interface will equally be made available in all EU languages. To allow the development of a versatile and useful instrument, we would welcome your feedback via e-mail at ENV-LABORATORY-ANIMALS@ec.europa.eu
Concerning the timing of publication in the EU database, Member States are required to submit NTS for projects authorised after 1.1.2021 within six months from the authorisation.
Concerning the update of NTS with the results of retrospective assessment, it is important to know that the Directive allows the possibility to inform about an upcoming retrospective assessment in the NTS. The following Member States have transposed this requirement in their national legislation: Belgium, Bulgaria, Denmark, Greece, Croatia, Cyprus, Lithuania, Malta, Netherlands, Austria, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Slovakia, Sweden and Finland.
The remaining Member States are not required to note in the NTS whether a project is selected for retrospective assessment. They are nevertheless free to use the EU database for the publication of the results of retrospective assessment on voluntary basis.